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2009 LSE-GWU-UCSB Graduate Conference on the Cold War

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LSE IDEAS hosted the annual LSE-GWU-UCSB Graduate Cold War Conference. The conference brought together graduate researchers from as far west as California and as far east as Beijing. Panels covered such diverse topics as the role of technology in the Cold War, cultural interactions, the Sino-Soviet split and the contest for influence in the Third World. The commentators included some of the top experts in the field, including Professor Bob McMahon of Ohio State University and Professor Hope Harrison of the George Washington University.

The original call for papers attracted over 100 very strong proposals. The organizers chose 20 of these for the conference. Continuing an annual tradition, the conference culminated in an award for the best paper. This year's award went to Jeremy Friedman of Princeton University for his paper "Soviet Policy in the Developing World and the Chinese Challenge in the 1960s." The paper will be published by the journal Cold War History.

Prof. Arne Westad, co-director of LSE IDEAS and its Cold War Studies Programme, said: "The PhD student conferences that we organise annually together with George Washington University and the University of California Santa Barbara have become very important venues for presenting new work on Cold War history. This year's conference was the best one yet, with many papers that really have the potential for changing our understanding of key topics, such as the histories of science and technology, of ideas and ideologies, and of de-colonisation."


Thursday April 23

6:30 - 9:00 PM Reception

Opening Remarks: Professor O.A. Westad

Book Launch: Dr. Sergei Radchenko (LSE) - Two Suns in the Heavens (Wilson Center Press, 2009)

Friday April 24

8:30-9:15 Coffee/breakfast


Panel 1: Post-war Germany: The first cold-war battle

Campion, Corey: Media in the occupation of Germany

Peplow, Emma: Provoking Cold War: The First Cold War Battle for Berlin

O'Brien, Andrea: Intimate Encounters: GI-German Social Interactions

Commentator: Professor Hope Harrison (GWU)

Chair: Dr. Arne Hoffman (LSE)

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break


Panel 2: Soft Power and the Power of Memory

De Michele, Carmen: American Post-War Cultural Policy and Generalissimo Franco's Vision of Iberian Painting

Geduld, Victoria Phillips: Strange Commodity of Cultural Exchange: Martha Graham's State Dept Tour

Tubb, Tara L.: The Politics of Remembering the Cold War

Commentator: Dr. Patrick Major (Reading)


12:30-2:00 Lunch


Panel 3: Cold War in Hot Climates

Figueroa-Clark, Victor: Chilean Internationalism in the Sandinista Revolution

O'Malley, Alanna: Shifting Realities: Role of International Norms during the Congo Crisis

Gheorghe, Eliza In Search of Renew Relevance: Ceacescu's Foray into the 3rd World

Commentator: Dr. Vesselin Dimitrov (LSE)

Chair: Professor Bob McMahon (OSU)

3:30-3:45 Coffee Break


Panel 4: "He made me do it:" the PRC stokes the flames

Friedman, Jeremy: China and Soviet FP

Zhang, Jing: Chinese Foreign Policy under the Mushroom Cloud

Commentator: Dr. Sergei Radchenko (LSE)

Chair: Professor Gregg Brazinsky (GWU)

Saturday April 25

9:00-10:00 Coffee/Breakfast

10:00 - 11:30

Panel 5: Lab rats on the front line: Science and the Cold War

Eardley-Pryor, Roger: The Fruits of Science for Death and Destruction

Long, Angelina: Bridging the Gap Between the Space Powers and others

McPartland, Mary: Should We Send them Home? Debate over Repatriating West German Nuclear Scientists

Commentator: Professor O.A. Westad (LSE)

Chair: Dr. Svetozar Rajak (LSE)

11:30-12:00 Coffee Break


Panel 6: Strategy, economy, and the making of alliances

Mehilli, Elidor: What was the bloc? A view from Albania

Kansikas, Suv:i USSR, CMEA, and the EC's challenge in the early 1970s

Alvandi, Roham: Origins of the Twin Pillars in the Persian Gulf

Commentator: Dr. Nigel Ashton (LSE)

Chair: Professor Mick Cox (LSE)

1:30-2:00 Lunch


Panel 7: Human rights, norms and morals

Badalassi, Nicolas: France and the origins of the Helsinki Process

Burch, Cecilia Notini: Sweden and East European Refugees

Gayte, Marie: The Vatican and the Reagan Administration

Commentator: Dr. Kristina Spohr-Readman

Chair: Professor Hope Harrison

4:00 Closing session.

Keynote speech: Professor Bob McMahon

19:00 Dinner at Ciao Bella

Presentation of best essay prize


Dr. Nigel Ashton is a senior lecturer in the international history department at the LSE and specialises in contemporary Anglo-American relations and the modern history of the Middle East. Dr. Ashton received his undergraduate and PhD from Christ's College, Cambridge. He then obtained a Temporary Lectureship at Salford University, followed by a permanent Lectureship at the University of Liverpool, before coming to the LSE in 1998. He has just completed a groundbreaking biography on King Hussein of Jordan, entitled King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life, shedding new light on many issues, including the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, the Iran-Iraq war, the Iran-Contra scandal, the Middle East peace process and the campaign to unseat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the 1990s.

Dr. Gregg Brazinsky| is a specialist on U.S.-East Asian relations during the Cold War. His work focuses on the social and cultural impact of the United States on East Asia. Professor Brazinsky's first book, Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans and the Making of a Democracy|, will appear in the fall of 2007 from the University of North Carolina Press. The book examines why South Korea was among the few post-colonial nations to achieve economic development and political democracy. It is the first book on the subject to use both American and Korean source materials. He received a Kluge Fellowship from the Library of Congress and grants from the Association for Asian Studies and the Sigur Center to do work on this project. His articles have appeared or will appear in the journal Diplomatic History and in several edited volumes.

Professor Brazinsky is now pursuing research on several other projects. One is a study of the cultural impact of the Korean War in America, Korea and China. Another is a comparative study of American nation building programs in East and Southeast Asia during the Cold War. He serves as Co-director of the George Washington University Cold War Group.

Professor Chen Jian holds the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2008-09. He is the Michael J Zak Chair of the History of US China Relations at Cornell University and a distinguished research scholar, writer and teacher. He is author of Mao's China and the Cold War and China's Road to the Korean War: the making of the Sino-American confrontation, which is regarded as a modern classic, and shared honours for the 2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Documentary Research for Declassified: Nixon in China.

Dr. Vesselin Dimitrov| is Reader in East European Politics in the Government Department at the London School of Economics. Dr Dimitrov's research interests focus on the role of government institutions and political parties in transitions from one political, economic and social system to another. He has worked on the origins of the Cold War and the transition to Communism in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1940s, with a particular emphasis on the role of Stalin and the Central and East European governments and communist parties. His work on the post-1989 political and economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe has focused on the development of effective government institutions, the impact of those institutions on fiscal policy, and the effect of accession to the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on the governments' fiscal policy choices.

Dr Idesbald Goddeeris is Lecturer of History at Leuven University (K.U.Leuven), Belgium, where he teaches courses on Central European, Russian, and imperial history. He has published extensively on exile politics and on Belgium in the Cold War, and is the author of, inter alia, Polonia belgijska w pierwszych latach po II wojnie światowej (Warszawa: Semper, 2005) and the editor of, inter alia, De Europese periferie (Universitaire Pers Leuven, 2004). He is now working on Western trade unions' attitudes towards Solidarność, on Central European intelligence and Belgium, and on soft diplomacy between East and West.
Idesbald Goddeeris is a visiting fellow at the LSE Cold War Studies Centre from February until June 2009.

Professor Hope Harrison| is Associate Professor of History and International Affairs Director, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies Director, European and Eurasian Studies Program. Dr. Harrison's current book project examines how Germans are dealing with the East German communist past. Her work focuses on recent debates about different approaches to depicting the Berlin Wall and other remnants of the division and the former communist regime.

In 2003, Princeton University Press published Professor Harrison's book, Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961. Based on her extensive work in archives of the former Soviet Union and East Germany, the book examines the process leading up to the building of the Berlin Wall and demonstrates the ways the weaker East Germans were able to exert leverage on the Soviets to persuade the reluctant Soviets to build the Berlin Wall. Professor Harrison has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN and the History Channel and has been interviewed on the Wilson Center's "Dialogue" radio show to discuss her work on the cold war. Harrison's book won the 2004 Marshall Shulman Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for the best book on the international behavior of the countries of the former communist bloc.

Artemy Kalinovsky is an editorial assistant on the British Academy/Russian Academy of Science sponsored project on UK-Soviet relations and a Junior Fellow at the CWSC. He is a PhD student in the International History department working on the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Artemy has an MA from the LSE in International History and a BA from the George Washington University.  His publications include "Soviet Decision-making during the War in Afghanistan, from Intervention to Withdrawal." Journal of Cold War Studies (Forthcoming 2009) and "Politics, Diplomacy and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: From National Reconciliation to the Geneva Accords," Cold War History 8:3 (August 2008), 381-404.

Dr. Patrick Major| is professor of history at the University of Reading. His interested include the political, social and cultural history of divided Germany in the Cold War. He recently completed a large project on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and is currently undertaking a project on Anglo-American and German film depictions of 'bad Nazis' and 'good Germans', which has been funded by the British Academy. His publications include The Death of the KPD: Communism and Anti-Communism in West Germany, 1945-1956 (Oxford: OUP, 1998) and The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Concrete History (Oxford: OUP, 2009).

Professor Robert McMahon teaches at Ohio State University. He is the author of several books, including Colonialism and Cold War: The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-49 (1981); The Cold War on the Periphery: the United States, India, and Pakistan (1994); and The Limits of Empire: The United States and Southeast Asia since World War II (1999). In 2000, McMahon served as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Dr. Sergei Radchenko  is interested in the history of the Cold War broadly speaking, with a particular focus on the history of Russia's and China's foreign relations, and international relations in Northeast Asia. He also has a lasting attachment to Central Asia and Mongolia. Sergey has co-authored with Campbell Craig The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War (New Haven: Yale UP, 2008). He is also the author of The China Puzzle: Soviet Policy Towards the PRC, 1962-67 (Washington D.C. and Stanford: Woodrow Wilson and Stanford UP, forthcoming spring 2009). 

Dr. Kristina Spohr Readman| is Lecturer in International History at the London School of Economics. Her main research interests lie in the International History of Germany since 1945, twentieth-century Baltic and Finnish history in the international context; post-Cold War security developments (esp. NATO).

Her published books include Germany and the Baltic problem after the Cold War: The development of a new Ostpolitik, 1989-2000 (London: Routledge, 2004); (ed.) Building Sustainable and Effective Capabilities: A Systemic Comparison of Professional and Conscript Forces (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2004).

Dr Svetozar Rajak| - Academic Director of LSE IDEAS.  Svetozar Rajak is a Lecturer in the Department of International History at the LSE. His main fields of interest are the international history of the Cold War, the contemporary history of the Balkans, East Europe, and the making of the post Cold War international system. He is also the Academic Director of the LSE Cold War Studies Centre, an editor of the journal Cold War History, and co-editor of a multi volume Collection of Documents on the 'Soviet -British Relations in the Cold War', sponsored by the British and Russian Academies of Sciences. Dr Rajak has published a number of articles on the Cold War and is currently preparing for publication manuscript on "The Early Cold War: Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, 1953-1957" (Routledge). He has contributed a Chapter on "The Cold War in the Balkans: From the Greek Civil War to Soviet-Yugoslav-Normalization" in the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Cold War. 

Professor Arne Westad|  is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an expert in contemporary international affairs. He co-directs LSE IDEAS, is an editor of the journal Cold War History and co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War. His book The Global Cold War won the Bancroft Prize for 2006.

Arne Westad was born in Norway in 1960. He studied history, philosophy and modern languages at the University of Oslo and received his PhD in history from the University of North Carolina in 1990. During the 1980s he worked for several international aid agencies in Southern Africa and in Pakistan. Professor Westad has taught at the University of North Carolina and at Johns Hopkins University and served for eight years as Director of Research at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Since 1998 he has been in the Department of International History at the LSE, where he teaches Cold War history and the history of East Asia. Professor Westad served as head of department from 2004-07 and is now co-director of LSE IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy. Westad's main fields of interests are the international history of the Cold War and contemporary East Asian history.

Professor Westad has published twelve books on international history and contemporary international affairs. His 2006 book The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge University Press) won the Bancroft Prize, the Akira Iriye International History Book Award, and the Michael Harrington Award from the American Political Science Association . Other major books from recent years include The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (OUP, 2003; with Jussi Hanhimaki); Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950 (Stanford UP, 2003), and Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory (Routledge, 2000).
More information: www.oaw.cn|

Professor Salim Yaqub| I specialize in the history of U.S. foreign relations, with a particular focus on U.S. involvement in the Middle East in the postwar era. In both my teaching and my scholarship, I work to integrate the study of official diplomacy with a concern for broader societal dynamics. I am especially interested in the influence of popular culture on foreign policy, and vice versa. In addition to teaching history courses, he directs UCSB's Center for Cold War Studies and International History.